Even though we now realized the end of my grandmother’s life was near, we also knew that could mean anything. Here was a woman who throughout my life never seemed to age a day, and it was strange to ponder that I had become as old as she was when I was born. She had certainly shown her age a bit more in the last several years with the progression of her Parkinson’s and her increasing immobility, but even then she survived her condition far longer than we ever thought possible, particularly given her prayers for God to take her from this life. However, when things took a turn for the worst, they turned fast.
Just over a month ago, on May 13, my beloved grandmother, Beulah Mae Mitchell (BuMae to most, Beauty Mae to certain close friends), passed away. Her passing has affected me more deeply than I would ever have imagined, given how long I had to prepare for it. Though I had been acting as her primary caretaker in the 16 years since I moved back to Hickory with my family, her passing makes it feel as though a pillar of support and identity has been taken from me. Her death is also the reason I have been absent from this blog and makes writing even now feel tentative and feeble in its attempt to express how I feel about the impact that her life had on me. Nevertheless, it seems only fitting that I post this on July 8, the day she would have turned 96.